Pickren named to another national team

Published 10:41 am Sunday, January 7, 2024

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Hampden-Sydney College senior safety and team captain Will Pickren has been named to the 2023 Associated Press (AP) Division III All-America Second Team. This is the second-straight year that Pickren has been named an AP All-American after earning First Team honors in 2022 when he became the program’s first AP All-American since the non-profit news agency headquartered in New York City relaunched its Division III All-America Team selections in 2017.

Will started all 10 games this season and led the team with 99 total tackles, including 40 solo and 59 assisted, 3.5 tackles for loss, one sack, two interceptions, four pass breakups, one fumble recovery-returned 33 yards for a touchdown-one forced fumble and one blocked kick (punt). He had at least 10 tackles in six games, including a season-high 17 tackles vs. Bridgewater, finishing third in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) in tackles per game, fourth in total tackles and tied for seventh in interceptions. Pickren ranked 26th in NCAA Division III tackles per game. Will completed his outstanding collegiate career with 366 tackles -a new school record for the program-including 162 solo and 204 assisted, 18 tackles for loss, seven interceptions, 22 passes defended, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and two blocked kicks (PAT, punt)-starting 34 of 35 career games.

Pickren has garnered four All-America awards over the past two seasons, as he was recently named to the 2023 D3football.com All-America Third Team, while a 2022 First Team AP Division III All-American and Second Team American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III Coaches’ All-American-becoming one of the most decorated Tigers in program history. He has twice been named the State Small College Defensive Back of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Richmond (2023, 2021), is a three-time D3football.com All-Region 3 honoree (2021-23), including a two-time First Team selection (2022-23), and is a four-time First Team All-ODAC choice, just the second four-time First Team selection during the 24-year tenure of recently retired head coach Marty Favret. In addition, he was the ODAC Rookie of the Year and the Virginia Sports Information Directors’ (VaSID) Defensive Rookie of the Year during an abbreviated five-game Spring 2021 schedule, after the traditional 2020 fall season was canceled due to COVID-19. Pickren is a three-time VaSID All-State First Team honoree and earned ODAC All-Academic Team honors for 2022-23.